Ruhlman Looking Forward to 'Home Race' in VIR 400 Alton, Va. (April 13) -- When the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve rolls into VIRginia International Raceway next week for the April 21-23 VIR...
Ruhlman Looking Forward to 'Home Race' in VIR 400
Alton, Va. (April 13) -- When the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve rolls into VIRginia International Raceway next week for the April 21-23 VIR 400, it will be a homecoming of sorts for Greensboro, N.C., resident Randy Ruhlman.
Ruhlman, who co-drives Derhaag Motorsports' No. 40 Preformed Line Products/Coyote Pontiac/Riley with Chris Bingham, has been a professional racing driver for 15 years. He spends a good deal of his year on the road, traveling coast-to-coast as he follows the Rolex Series on its 15-race schedule, which started in Daytona Beach, Fla., in January and will end near Salt Lake City, Utah, in September.
It's been like that over the past 15 years for Ruhlman, who has been chasing racing since the early 1990s. He made his name in the SCCA Trans-Am Series, which ceased operation after last year. Driving for Derhaag Motorsports, Ruhlman was the 2005 Trans-Am winner of the Long Beach Grand Prix and Cleveland Grand Prix races. He was named the 2005 BBS "Most Improved Driver of the Year" and was the runner-up for the 2005 Trans-Am Drivers' Championship. Fourth overall in Trans-Am Series history with 85 top-five finishes, Ruhlman has also driven in endurance series, in IMSA GT and has circle-track experience in the ASA and NASCAR short-track series.
When the Trans-Am Series folded, Derhaag Motorsports moved over the Grand American Rolex Series and debuted at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in February. One of the benefits for Ruhlman, in addition to being part of one of the fastest-growing and most competitive professional road racing series in the world, is the fact that the series visits VIR, just an hour from his home, every year.
This will be Ruhlman's first visit to VIR since the Trans-Am series raced here in 2002. In that race he qualified eighth and was running in the top 10 when he was forced out of the race with a mechanical problem.
"We've really been looking forward to coming back to VIR," Ruhlman said. "We have a little unfinished business there, since I had a mechanical problem in the Trans-Am race there in 2002 and wasn't able to finish the race."
Ruhlman said that even if it weren't so close to home, VIR would still be one of his favorite racetracks.
"VIR is such a fantastic facility," he said. "It's not only beautiful, but it's a fast, tough, technical track that the drivers love to race on. Being from Greensboro, it's great to be able to race so close to home. We have a lot of friends and customers who will be coming to the track, and it really lifts your spirits when you know you have that kind of support behind you from people who are so close to you."
The Rolex Series will be joined over the April 21-23 VIR 400 weekend by the popular Grand-Am Cup Series for modified street-stock vehicles and the Skip Barber National Championship presented by RACER magazine, one of America's most renowned training series for aspiring open-wheel racers. On-track action will begin on Friday, April 21 at 8:00 am. Friday's schedule includes practice for all three series, plus a qualifying race for the Skip Barber National Championship. Saturday's schedule includes qualifying and the VIR 200 race for Grand-Am Cup, practice and two points-paying qualifying races for the Rolex Series and the first of two races for the Skip Barber National Championship. Sunday's schedule includes the second Skip Barber National Championship race and the Rolex Series' VIR 400, which is scheduled to take the green flag at 1:00 pm.
Three-day Super Tickets for the VIR 400 weekend will be available at the gate, priced at $60. Also, single-day tickets will be available for Friday ($15), Saturday ($25) and Sunday ($50). VIR is a family-friendly facility, where children 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult. Spectator camping is available. Call 434-822-7700, ext. 116 or 300 for advance ticket sales.
VIRginia International Raceway is a multi-purpose road racing facility, located on the Dan River between Danville and South Boston, Va., and just north of historic Milton, N.C.